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From ancient times, clay figures have been present in the Pueblo pottery tradition. Figurines, especially human female figures, were an integral element in the Anasazi culture by 400 AD.

O From ancient times, clay figures have been present in the Pueblo pottery tradition. Figurines, especially human female figures, were an integral element in the Anasazi culture by 400 AD. There is little evidence for the continuity of figurative work between 1500 and 1875, when first missionaries and then scholars denounced or derided the making of figurative clay pieces However, beyond that time figurative sculpture has flourished--especially at Cochiti Pueblo just south of Santa Fe--in the forms of animals, birds and caricatures of outsiders and, more recently, of images of mothers and grandfathers telling stories and singing to children. Following the coming of the railroad to New Mexico in the late 1800s, Native American artists delighted in mimicking their new visitors, and their caricatures included supplicating padres, businessmen, cowboys and dancing bears.O The story of Cochiti Pueblo artist Helen Cordero is inextricably linked to the art of figurative clay sculpture...for it is she who gave new shape to an ancient form.
O " I kept seeing my grandfather ( Santiago Quintana )" she said. "That one, he was a really good storyteller, and there were always lots of us grandchildren around him." Santiago Quintana was also a leading member of one of the clown societies and a mucho sabio. He was a valued friend and collaborator to several generations of anthropologists and observers of Pueblo life. O Continued below...

Click Selections Below to View Our Contemporary Southwestern Jewelry

man in a maze is the symbol of the native american indian man in his meaning of all things represent in Zuni Jewelry

 Horses represented transportation and power to Zuni indians of the southwest

the sterling silver jewelry bear symbolized strength to the native Zuni tribes of the southwest

 Kokopelli is a prehistoric Southwestern personage depicted in this Zuni Jewelry.

 A figure of telling stories and singing to children and often made of clay or wood and more recently of silver

The mixing of gold and silver in the designs of modern native american indian jewelry

small manufactured tubes or beads of silver linked together to form a sterling silver jewelry contemporary necklace

He wanted his traditions preserved and maintained, and he went to great lengths to insure that "they got it right." When Helen remembered her grandfather's voice and shaped that first image of him telling stories to five grandchildren, she made two significant modifications in the Singing Mother tradition:

O 1. She made the primary figure male, rather than female.
O 2. She placed and unrealistic number of children on him.

Subsequent Cordero storytellers have had as many as 30"

O That was 1964 and the grandfather figure with five children was the first storyteller. As a portrait of Helen Cordero's grandfather, it is a self-portrait as well, since she is one of the children. The first storyteller is the Alexander Girard Collection in the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. Today, as many as three hundred potters in thirteen pueblos have created storytellers...and the storytellers are not only men and women, but also mudheads, koshares, bears, owls and other animals... often with children numbered more than one hundred.

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Sterling Silver Storyteller Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings

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